Costas Vayanos, CEO of Mediterranean Delicacies, debriefs u|Chief on his recent business trip to Andalucia in Spain.
Tell us about your recent travels?
My most recent trip was to Spain to visit my olive supplier in the region of Andalucia. The trip afforded me the opportunity to assess first-hand the poor olive crop being harvested, which was due to the lower than normal rainfall they experienced, as well as to see the advances made in olive-processing in Spain.
Despite these difficulties, our customers would not see any difference in the quality of our product, as we never let our customer base down when olives are in short supply. Mediterranean Delicacies imports from all over the world to supplement our product, depending on where we can find the best quality at the time.
From a travel perspective, I did not have much spare time to enjoy Seville, but the little I saw was enough to entice me to return one day. Although there is no time for fun on a business trip, I did manage to sneak in a Champions League match in Seville and enjoyed the most passionate supporters I have seen for many years!
What surprised you about the country?
The number of olive trees… as far as the eye can see. You see a wave of trees – it’s absolutely beautiful.
Spain is the leader in the world when it comes to processing Green olive varieties, so being able to spend time chatting to my peers in the industry was invaluable. As always on these trips, it always offers the opportunity to identify new ideas and applications for olives and pickles.
On a negative note, the ravages of the crisis in Spain is still evident on the streets, although things seem to be improving economically.
“Olive trees… as far as the eye can see… a wave of trees – it’s absolutely beautiful.” – Costas Vayanos, Mediterranean Delicacies
What did you learn during this trip?
It’s the same with every trip I do: always be open to new ideas and you will be amazed what lands on your plate (no pun intended) when you have an open attitude.
I didn’t manage to spend much time on the cultural front, but you cannot visit Spain without joining a local for a tapas meal – however, you need a local to choose from the menu on your behalf, as the options are wide and exotic. You may miss out if you give it a go yourself.
Please share a few useful phrases or words you found useful during the trip.
Ola (Hello) and Gracias (thank you) – two words that never fail to raise a smile in Spain amongst the locals.
Where would you like to go on your next trip?